Golf Mental Game Secret – Keeping Your Cool

Golf BPM Mental Guide by Doug Timmons

 For those that have embarked on the journey of becoming a golfer then this article might make sense to you. The world renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella says in his book Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, “a golfer has to learn to enjoy the process of striving to improve. That process, not the end result, enriches life.” He has a lot of great information in his books on how to try and control the highs and lows of a round of golf.

I like to refer to golf as a mental roller coaster one minute you are on top of the world after sinking a 10 footer for birdie and then the next minute you are looking for the 800 number to suicide prevention. Being dedicated to the process is the only way to ever get better at the game. There is something about the game that makes getting punished for four hours enjoyable.

I tell this to all of my beginners, “it is the only thing I have done in my life that in the course of four hours I have, totally lost my cool, quit and swear I am selling my clubs, to looking to blow off work the next day to do it again.” It is bizarre. For some of us the hardest thing to do is manage your emotions but in golf it’s a must.

For those that have a bit of fire in their belly and a super competitive nature then even a practice session can turn hazardous. I have been witnessed to club throws, drop f bombs and even a snap a club or three and remind you this was just in a practice session.

I absolutely do not condone this behavior but sometimes you have to have total control of your mind to not take it to that level. The great thing is you are constantly learning more about the game and learning more about yourself, so episodes like that hopefully are isolated. The more calm and cool you can stay during a round or practice session the more you will get out of it, yes this is easier said than done especially if you just got done snap hooking one in to the weeds.

Having a process in place to pull yourself out from the depths of self destruction is very important, it takes a lot of patience and will power. Having a mantra you can say to yourself and a breathing technique is a start to building the foundation so you can stop yourself from the free fall.

Just remember as in life somedays are just better than others and this goes the same with golf. In fact, golf and life have so many parallels not just in the mood swings but also in the etiquette and the respect that goes along with the history of the game.

Have you ever had a day at work were everything just seemed a bit off and couple breaks just didn’t go your way? Well I have and I have had that exact day on the course also, after finishing the round I just felt like what I would imagine 12 rounds with Mike Tyson would feel like, just beat up.

Then on the flips side, things were just rolling, the boss complimented you on a job well done, you landed a few deals and the traffic was light on the way home. Well those are the same on the course, a tree kicks your ball into the fairway instead of going OB, your normally shaky short game is on fire and the five footer that you hit on the edge dropped instead of lipping out.

Let’s face it for those that really care about the game, have had moments of extreme happiness and moments of extreme sadness but that’s just part of the journey. The Japanese business men like to take a potential customer or partner out to play because they can tell in the 18 holes what kind of person they will be getting involved with.

Another quote I always loved from Bob Rotella was “attitude always wins over ability” now this might not sound true but I am a firm believer. Trying to keep a positive attitude during a round is a task in itself but it is yet another part of the game that is fun and challenging to work on.

One of the reasons I got involved in the golf business in the first place was the fact that golf is such an amazing game for kids to learn. I have seen it transform kids from a coordination stand point and from a mind and spirt stand point. If the particular junior is willing to learn and put sometime in at a young age it will change their life, even if they decide the game is just not for them.

Now back to the grind, one thing I love to work on with my students is a solid pre shot routine, I mentioned it earlier but I want to express the extreme importance of a solid pre shot routine. A solid pre shot routine puts you in the present mind, a quote from Gautama Buddha says it all, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Always attack the shot at hand! A good routine is a work in progress, it is always getting better, stronger and clearer. The goal is to build a process that you can do every time it is their turn to play. The routine requires focus, planning, visualizing, breathing and execution. This is very helpful when going through the mental roller coaster of a round.

I always love watching golfers like Justin Rose, you can never really tell if he is playing well or poorly. The ultimate goal is to make that roller coaster the most boring ride ever, come off of it without breaking a sweat and feeling relaxed. Jack Nicklaus was quoted saying “concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety” and I would image his concentration started with a solid pre shot routine.

Even if you are the biggest fans of the scary roller coasters like The Gravity Max or The Wicked Sister keep those highs and lows for the amusements parks and try your hardest to start leveling out your emotions on the golf course, work on building a bullet proof routine and you will be amazed on how much this will help your game regardless if it is the golf course or the course of life. 

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Golf Music & Blast Motion Sensor

Patterns are import because rhythm, tempo and timing are the secret and the backbone to a great golf swing.

When Blast came out it was the one and only tool that we could test the Golf BPM music with to actually see if the patterns in the App worked correctly. The very first time we used the two Apps side-by-side it was like magic.

On the Blast App you get readouts of your exact take-away and downswing times that you can pair with golf music. It instantaneously gets golfers into the correct zone to create perfect rhythm, tempo and timing. If you are working on your tempo there is no better way than using Golf BPM Music with Blast.

With the music you are in the zone mentally and with Blast you can get immediate feedback on the actual numbers behind your swing.

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The Story of Creating Golf Music for Golf BPM

Golf Music App - Golf BPM

I wanted to tell you a quick story about why it took me seven years to create Golf BPM.

Every time someone asks me how long it took to create the App I literally cringe when I have to say seven plus years. 

I cringe because of all the years I wasted talking about the idea and never executing it. Not to mention that Jeremy and I talked about it way back in 2008. In 2012 I had an idea, a programmer and several musicians. So, what took so long…

As far back as I can remember I’ve been teaching golf all day long and any moment I was not teaching I was working on my clothing line 18 GREENS. All the extra money and time I had went towards creating the apparel line. 

The apparel industry is a beast… you have to plan what people will be wearing a year in advance. Then you have to front the cash to create the clothing and get it to the United States. Most apparel companies have three to four lines a year to gear up for each season.

So, once it arrives you are out of money and then have to sell it over the summer to make back your investment. During that time, you have already started sampling and developing the next seasons line and borrowing money to get that done in hopes of recouping the money that is already out. There is never really any down time and if your company grows that means so does your debt. UGH, I often ask myself why I do this to myself, I love the action and my goal is to make a cool line that can be worn on and off the course that is affordable.

So even though I knew Golf BPM was a great idea and something that would revolutionize music and golf… it just sat on the back shelf collecting dust which always bothered me. I am not the kind of person that sets goals and then doesn’t at least go after them.

Finally, in 2015 I decided I had to put some time and energy toward making it happen. I’m not sure what sent me over the edge, but I was determined.

Creating the music turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated. The musicians were flakes, Jeremy took a job at IBM, my clothing line 18 GREENS was gaining traction and I was getting married.  The bottom line is it did not happen, now it’s 2016 and we had made zero progress towards getting it out.

May 2017

Our second go round at Golf BPM was a much more solid effort. In May of 2017, I got a call from Jeremy, he was all fired up about finally getting this thing going again. He had a friend who was a musician who he said could not only help but was onboard for a revenue share as well.

So the first week of June I flew up to San Francisco and we headed to the music studio in Sausalito. That trip was enlightening on several fronts. First, we were able to create our very first track “Smooth Groove”. That track is on the App if you want to hear it under the “Hip Hop” station.

It took three full days in the studio to create that one track. The track itself came pretty fast but the difficult part was when we started analyzing swings of the PGA tour players in relation to time, my idea and studies where a little more off than expected. The producer we were working with is a musical genius in his own right and loves golf so he really understood what I was trying do and create.

Through various studies, reading, working with students and metronomes we discovered that we needed four different swing speeds for each track. So, we had to speed up the original track to the four BPM’s we identified (126, 144, 156 and 184). 

After days of being locked in the studio, we headed to the range to test it out. I hit three balls and I knew we had nailed it. Then Jeremy hit and was instantly in-sync at 126 BPM’s. I have to tell you… it was one hell of a day!

I headed back to San Diego with two tracks to test and Jeremy was off and running programming the App. Our producer/musician was going to create more tracks.

Once home I started testing the tracks with my students. I tested with pros, collegiate, high school players and juniors. The results were incredible… everyone had success with it fairly instantly.

When I came back to San Francisco in August we found out that our musician had not done any work since my June visit. In his defense he had a lot going on in his life, things that I could never imagine.  

This was a problem because at the end of my previous trip I had discovered a difference between the swing tempo ratios between drivers, mid irons and putting.

I won’t bore you but essentially, I found through using the BLAST Motion sensor that good players mid iron ratios were different than their driver and even from 90 yards and in. The reason I came back to the studio was to figure out the music at these ratios and also create the tempos for putting and chipping.

When you use Golf BPM you will notice that we have four BPM’s (126, 144, 156 and 184) and also we have a drop down for club selection (Driver – 5 iron, 6 iron – wedges, and chipping putting).

Each song needs 11 speeds / tempos

    4 speeds for Driver – 5 Irons
    4 speeds for 6 irons – wedges and
    3 speed for chipping / putting

I knew we were in trouble with the musician because he was already behind and we now needed 24 tracks total before November and each track needed 11 speeds. 

11 x 24 = a lot of music that needed to be created before I was heading to The Hero Challenge tournament to pitch the music and App to PGA golfers. 

Choking on the final hole

The day I was at the airport I got a call from Jeremy. He had just got off the phone with the producer/musician. In short, he wanted to quit and or be paid to finish the tracks he had not created. He had found out that by getting behind he had to work triple time and was just not that passionate about the project.

The final hour in that studio was not pretty… it was like breaking up with your girlfriend, someone you shared some great moments with but just knew it wasn’t going to work. Walking out we knew he was out and not going to be able to deliver. Our musician is a great guy but we didn’t need a “great guy” he just did not want it as bad as we did.

At that point, we had failed again…

We had done many great things and learned a lot from the producer, he dropped a lot of knowledge on me that I am forever grateful for. We finished pieces of the project like sequencing swings to music across all the clubs and learned a lot about the actual music we were creating. Sadly, once again we failed to create the amount of music we needed to get the App launched.

May 2018

After two solid failures to get Golf BPM launched I got a call from Jeremy in May of 2018. He had once again contacted a friend who was a musician that he wanted me to meet. 

This time there would be no equity or revenue sharing, he was just going to pay them outright for their music. The upside of all the studio time we had logged was that we had the framework in place to move forward and the framework was spot on.

One thing we decided early on was to add a voice prompt to all the music.

Originally it was just going to be beats or tones. But since all the songs had different sound we decided to actually add a woman’s voice counting 1, 2 and 3. 

The best part is I didn’t have to travel and spend time in the studio. We just gave them the files and asked them to create a sample track to make sure they could work within the framework.

Not to mention that when you pay people they seem to work a lot faster!

A week later we had a sample track “Lift Me Up” that you can hear on the “Pop” station within the App. 

Within six weeks we had all the music we needed to get the App launched.

Jeremy then got to work on finishing all the programming to get the App into iTunes and Google Play. The development took a bit longer than expected however.

This is because when we tested on the driving range the voice and the music would sometimes be out of sync. Why you ask, because we wanted to build in an option to allow the users to mute the voice.

I happen to like the voice but some users found the repetition annoying overtime. Luckily Jeremy branded himself “The App Man” and if you’re going to do that you better be good at what you do. It took many tries but he is persistent, finally got it dialed in and got the Golf BPM launched.

After seven years, multiple musicians, Golf BPM went live in January of 2019! That was a good day. We are proud to say it has already aided in an individual NCAA D2 National Championship win.

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Growing the Game of Golf with Music

In all my years of teaching golf my goal has always been to help my students improve, make the game fun and enjoyable and to do my best to help grow the game of golf.

Doug Timmons - Golf BPM Founder
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One of my methods for growing the game has always been through Junior golf. I have done camps, high school teams, tournaments, you name it, I’ve done it all and have always enjoyed doing things that were unique to the game of golf.  It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to see adults all over San Diego that I taught golf to when they were in kids still have a love and passion for the game.

And although I’ve been recognized for my efforts, I always wondered…

What is something that I could do to reach more people and make the game more fun and approachable?  How can I do something that would leave a lasting impression on the game, something players of all levels could benefit from?

In golf, every player and instructor struggle to learn or teach three things: Rhythm, Tempo and Timing.

Teachers can’t effectively teach it and players all struggle to develop it. For the past 20 years of coaching, I have struggled to find an effective way to teach rhythm, tempo and timing, until now!

My mission is to use music to grow the game and help players of all skill levels have perfect rhythm, tempo and timing.

I want to personally invite you to join Golf BPM and help me grow the game and add extra enjoyment through music.

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Teaching Golf Swing Tempo

There has to be a better way

Golf BPM Doug Timmons Teaching With Music

As an instructor I have always wanted a tool to use to teach my students how to repeat their rhythm tempo and timing. I used various methods; I’ve found that a metronome was close but still not what I was looking for.

This is when Golf BPM was created, I worked with “The App Man” Jeremy Callahan and various music producers to create an app that helps you with your rhythm, tempo and timing. Golf BPM can be used on and off the golf course, making it fun and effective to use while practicing, playing or even just listening casually while driving in your car.

Just think of all the different things going on around you while driving, if you had music that you could listen to that had tones that match your perfect rhythm, tempo and timing it would be almost as effective as actually hitting at the range. Instead of wasting timing doing nothing in the car except for getting mad at the traffic and all of the horrible drivers you actually be doing something to help your golf game.

What the Pros Say About Tempo

Sir Nick Faldo was quoted saying that rhythm, tempo and timing is the glue that holds every great golf swing together and as a coach I couldn’t agree more. The more you can ingrain that flow in your mind, the easier it will be to repeat when you get into close match or coming down the stretch in a tournament or casual round.

Sam Snead is said to have had one of the most graceful swings in the history of golf, he has been quoted saying that he would whistle a waltz tune while playing and this what helped him to keep perfect rhythm, tempo and timing under the heat of the battle.

Jimmy Demart put out some instructional records that helped you understand how to use music as a tool for your golf swing. There are so many different sayings and counting methods that you can use while swinging the club that can help you get your tempo going but now you can have music that is made specifically for you in mind.     

Music Makes Your Body Move

Music and tones have a powerful effect on most brains, different sounds and rhythms create certain responses. Music has the ability to take you to a certain frame of mind and provokes a certain mood or feeling.

The music we have built is all original and is designed in a certain format and certain BPM’s that allows your mind be at ease while listening. We want the golfer to be able to zone out and get lost in the rhythm of the music, using the tones and/or the counts to guide you on your journey to creating a repetitive golf swing.

We have done a lot of research and have spent countless hours reading about the effects sounds have on your mind. Not only do we use certain tones but all tones are timed to the best swings on the PGA Tour.

Teaching Golf Tempo With Music

The best part about the Golf BPM is that through all of our testing with various levels of golfer we found that it is fun and effective.

If you are a fellow golf instructor, Golf BPM is also a great training aid to use during lessons or during junior clinics. You will find your students will love it and the kids will bug you to turn the music back on.

For those that didn’t understand the importance of music and the tone/counts prior to listening they sure understood after five minutes of playing with the app. We found that all of the students and/or juniors that listened to the music with the voice counts on, quickly got themselves in a perfect rhythm.

The voice counts and/or tones will also help all golfers with the rhythm of their pre shot routine, the way they walk to the ball, set up to the ball, look down the line and the starting of the overall swing. The goal is to get yourself moving to the BPM that best fits your swing tempo. 

How to Choose a Swing Speed (BPM)

Finding the BPM that best fits your swing is fun and can also be challenging. We recommend starting with selecting driver to five iron and then choose the 144 BPM, you will immediately discover if this is too fast or too slow.

Even if you feel it is too slow, try and sync up with the counts/tones, get some confidence going and then if you want to explore please do so. We have found that moving up in the BPM’s will help increase your club head speed also.

We also like to use the 126 BPM for a good foundation to get everything moving smoothly at the beginning of a practice session. We have not really seen a pattern except that the younger more advanced players love to try and swing at the fastest BPM (184 BPM’s).

We love the fact that we have built a training aid that will really help golfers of all levels improve their rhythm, tempo and timing which will help them improve their overall game.      

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